San Diego area (California) based online home décor company “KESS InHouse” removed various products displaying Hindu deity Lord Ganesha after a Hindu protest called these “highly inappropriate”.
Various products removed, which carried image of Lord Ganesha; include dog bed, dog mat, doormat, bathmat, leggings, yoga mat and area rug. These objectionable products, which were available for purchasing on kessinhouse.com earlier, were not seen on the company’s website today morning.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who spearheaded the protest asking for immediate withdrawal of these objectionable products, in a statement in Nevada today, thanked “KESS InHouse” for understanding the concerns of Hindu community which thought images of Lord Ganesha on such products were highly insensitive.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, however, pointed out that a formal apology from “KESS InHouse” to the upset Hindu community was still due. He also urged the company to withdraw these objectionable products from its various other partner online retailers, if it has not done so yet.
Rajan Zed suggested “KESS InHouse” and other companies to send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns.
Zed had said that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to place your dog/dogs/animals on it or to sleep on it or put/wipe your feet on or wear it on your legs or sit/walk on it. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the faithful.
Rajan Zed had earlier indicated that it was shocking for the devotees to see on company’s website the pictures of Ganesha Dog Bed depicting dogs sitting on Lord Ganesha’s head, Ganesha Dog Mat showing a dog’s feet on Lord Ganesha’s head, “eye-catching” Ganesha Leggings with Lord Ganesha’s image on both the legs, Ganesha Yoga Mat displaying a woman in a yoga pose sitting on part of Lord Ganesha image. As earlier mentioned on company’s website, the Ganesha Dog Bed was claimed to be “their favorite place to lay”, Ganesha Dog Mat was stated to soak up dirt, and Ganesha Yoga Mat “will cushion your body”.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Zed had noted.
Rajan Zed had also stated that such trivialization of Hindu deity was disturbing to the Hindus world over. Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
“KESS InHouse”, whose tagline includes “Home decor with style”, sells various bed & bath, kitchen & dining, wall art, pet products, lifestyle & travel—products; and claims to transform and encourage “to step outside of the average decorating boundaries and add art to the home”. “We pride ourselves on the quality and integrity of our company and home decor line”, a web announcement states. It claims to have partnerships with various online retailers: Amazon, Bonanza, Dot and Bo, Hayneedle, Houzz, Target, Touch of Modern, Overstock and Wayfair.